Toronto reportedly out of the running for Amazon's HQ2

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Long Island City and Crystal City would meet Amazon's requirements for a new locale: Both are near metropolitan areas with more than a million people, have nearby worldwide airports, direct access to mass transit and have room for the company to expand.

As the competition for Amazon's second headquarters heats up, cities and states are getting increasingly desperate to win over the e-commerce giant.

Jay Ash, the economic development chief in MA, said Tuesday that he's had "no recent contact" with Amazon about a headquarters in Boston, but his office is still talking with the company about other opportunities.

Amazon has been actively seeking a location for its second headquarters in North America for over a year.

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"Amazon.com has held advanced discussions about the possibility of opening its highly sought-after second headquarters in Crystal City, including how quickly it would move employees there, which buildings it would occupy and how an announcement about the move would be made to the public", the report states.

Now, as reported by The Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the company is closing in on Crystal City, according to people close to the process. A decision is scheduled by the end of the year, with 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada in the running.

Selecting those areas would bring more jobs to places that already have plenty. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also met with Amazon executives around the same time, a city official said. The plan is part of an investment strategy under development for three years, a period in which the Queens neighborhood has led a citywide building boom.

Long Island City is served by 8 subway lines, 13 bus lines, the East River Ferry, the Long Island Railroad, two bridges and a tunnel linking it with Manhattan. Nearly 240 municipalities responded, trying to lure the tech giant with marketing gimmicks, promises of new transit lines and, as proposals trickled out, billions in tax incentives.The details of most bids are not public, to the frustration of even some lawmakers.

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Some of the final contenders are situated close to each other and draw from the same labor pools. The company announced 20 finalists in January, including New York, Chicago, and the Washington, DC, area. In all, 238 cities, counties and states had submitted bids hoping to woo Amazon during the fall of 2017. It could also give the company greater leverage in negotiating tax incentives, experts said."Even if the most obvious reasons appear to be about attracting more tech workers, the P.R. and government incentives benefits could help, too", said Jed Kolko, chief economist at Indeed, the online jobs site.

"I'll change my name to Amazon Cuomo if that's what it takes", he said.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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